To say the 2015 mushing season was challenging would be an understatement to most. While we strove to make the best of what we were dealt, it has proven difficult to keep the motivation going at times!
We know we are not alone! Between unseasonably warm temperatures, lack of snow, and countless race cancellations...it all takes its toll!
Priest Lake Sled Dog Races
One of the few races that we were able to attend, just barely, was our local club's Priest Lake Sled Dog Race. The weekend started out bleak, constant rain soaked everyone and everything. Saturday was just miserable. There was no such thing as dry. Dogs, mushers, spectators alike were pretty well drenched. Sunday couldn't have been any more different, better trails but reaching temperatures that eventually forced a cancellation of the final class of participants due to heat concerns.
Overall, the event went off with limited difficulty. The club did an excellent job making the best of a bad season, difficult weather, and deteriorating trails. We had fun, the dogs got out to enjoy the trails, and we got to meet up with some old and some new friends! Great times, despite challenging beginnings!
Montana's Race To The Sky
With our own challenges we headed out to be spectators and observe a race we're hoping to add to our participation list in the future! It was obvious we weren't the only one's feeling the challenges of the lacking snow. Montana's Race To The Sky, which normally leaves from Lincoln MT was forced to find an alternate trail system for their race. Snow was nowhere to be seen in Lincoln! Northward bound to Seeley Lake, the parking area was slushy and standing water, looking pretty similar to Priest Lake. The trail head wasn't as bad as the parking area, but we did hear there were some pretty awful sections of trail.
To add to the 'cool factor' of our trip to MT RTTS we got the opportunity to meet a musher who has truly inspired our journey- Karen Ramstead, and of course the infamous Bet. She and her dogs were just amazing! Getting the opportunity to observe a musher at her level prepare for a race was great!
One last trip to find snow for the season took us to Olney MT. Much like RTTS, The FC ended up having to find alternate trails to run their race. The trails were icy, fast, and somewhat challenging. We were also pleased to add Keegan to the Official Team Roster at this race! He certainly exceeded our expectations for a 15 month old rookie! Overall the event was a fun one! We had a great time! It was a great race with a bright future! We are certainly looking forward to running out there next year!
Our training days are certainly becoming numbered. Temperatures are quickly rising. BUT we are still taking every opportunity we can to hit the trails and keep the team performing well! We're hoping to have the temperatures and conditioning to participate in a social fun run in Cle Elum this April. We're obviously headed toward switching gears from running the team to getting back into Working Pack Dog hiking and continuing Keegan's show career! Stay tuned as Spring kicks into full gear!
Growing up in Montana my love of the Siberian Husky started at a young age. It has been quite a journey so far. There has been much to learn and still a lot more yet to learn! I truly believe that we are never too old, too experienced, or too full of ourselves to learn something new. I also believe that knowledge is useless unless we are willing to share it with others.